ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Following the announcement by the federal Department of Health and Human Services that four Maryland groups have been selected as Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown released the following statement:
“Congratulations to the Maryland groups selected to participate in the federal Accountable Care Organization program. Today’s announcement is another example of how the Affordable Care Act is helping advance our efforts in Maryland to encourage more coordination of care among providers by offering incentives that reward healthier outcomes. The Accountable Care Organization Program, like Maryland’s Patient Centered Medical Home Program, is great example of the kind of innovative tools that will not only improve patient care and outcomes, but bend the curve of rising health care costs. I thank the Obama Administration for once again recognizing Maryland as a leader in innovative efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of our citizens, as well as Maryland’s Congressional Delegation for supporting the Affordable Care Act and making this recognition possible. By working together, we can continue to encourage providers to better coordinate care in order to both reduce costs and improve the quality of health care for all Marylanders.”
The federal ACO program, created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is intended to encourage physicians and other providers of Medicare-covered services and supplies (e.g., hospitals and others involved in patient care), to create a new type of health care entity, an ACO, that agrees to be held accountable for improving the health and experience of care for individuals and improving the health of populations, while reducing the rate of growth in health care spending. Studies have shown that better care often costs less; coordinated care helps to ensure that the patient receives the right care at the right time and helps avoid unnecessary duplication of services and dangerous medical errors.
The Maryland groups named ACOs today are as follows:
· Accountable Care Coalition of Maryland, LLC, located in Hollywood, Maryland, is comprised of ACO group practices, with 109 physicians. It will serve Medicare beneficiaries in Maryland.
· Greater Baltimore Health Alliance Physicians, LLC, located in Baltimore, Maryland, is comprised of partnerships between a hospital and ACO professionals and a hospital employing ACO professionals, with 399 physicians. It will serve Medicare beneficiaries in Maryland and Pennsylvania.
· Maryland Accountable Care Organization of Eastern Shore LLC, located in National Harbor, Maryland, is comprised of ACO group practices, networks of individual ACO practices, with 15 physicians. It will serve Medicare beneficiaries in Maryland.
· Maryland Accountable Care Organization of Western MD LLC, located in National Harbor, Maryland, is comprised of ACO group practices and networks of individual ACO practices, with 23 physicians. It will serve Medicare beneficiaries in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
Lt. Governor Brown leads the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s efforts to reduce costs, expand access, and improve the quality of care for all Marylanders. In 2010, Lt. Governor Brown championed legislation creating the Maryland Patient Centered Medical Home Program designed to improve patient health and elevate the role of the primary care provider in our health system. Under the leadership of Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown, Maryland has implemented reforms that have expanded health coverage to over 330,000 Marylanders, half of whom are children, established Maryland’s Health Benefit Exchange, and put the State in position to maximize the Affordable Care Act.